#1 Largest Resource on the Internet for Specialty Markets in the Travel & Meetings/Events Industry

Monday, August 15, 2016

Want to discover Colorado's Outdoor Activites? Check out this list!

Colorado is an outdoor playground filled with a plethora of adventure activities and opportunities ranging from hiking, biking, and paddleboarding to skiing, camping, ballooning and much more!

Click here to discover a variety of Colorado's Outdoor Activities to choose from: 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

These 3 Trends Are Redefining the Next Generation of Food Tourism (by Greg Oates)

This article by Greg Oates does an outstanding job of highlighting how culinary travel is evolving from a niche market to an industry-type market comprised of its own niche market segments.

The article also highlights how culinary travel is similar to how adventure travel was 15 years ago, in the sense that it started out as a rather homogeneous market before eventually segmenting out into many different types and forms of adventure travel.

Click here to read the full Food Tourism story by Greg Oates.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Adventure Travel Offers A Niche Opportunity

Great new article by Jessica Montevago (with www.TravelMarketReport.comon the ever-growing market of adventure travel for travel agents.

Here's opening paragraph:

The global adventure travel market—worth about $263 billion per year—is a growing niche being tapped by increasing numbers of smart travel agents.

Adventure travel appeals to anyone and everyone, as travelers can choose just how much thrill-seeking they’re comfortable with. So the customer base is large.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Romance Travel: Marriage Proposals in Colorado's Most Beautiful Places

I love this story that just came out today by Erin Powell with KUSA (9news.com) on marriage proposals that are done in some of Colorado's most beautiful and memorable places.  This is Romance Travel at its best!

Here's the story:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Travel Agent And Supplier Creativity Bodes Well For Luxury Travel Growth

A new article on the growth market of luxury travel was just published by Doug Gollan by TravelMarketReport.com.

Here's the opening paragraph:

"Bucking trends in the larger luxury industry, luxury travel is on a roll. And executives believe the good times will continue, spurred by agents and suppliers who have developed a potent recipe of innovative products, creative marketing, and top-notch personalized service."
Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Colorado Tourism Office to conduct eight statewide public input sessions to create the Colorado Tourism Roadmap

Here's opening excerpt from the May 26 press release by the Colorado Tourism Office:

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) will host eight public input sessions in cities, mountain towns and the plains in the coming weeks to gain insight into opportunities to maximize the benefit of tourism for communities throughout Colorado.

These sessions are the starting point for an eight-month project to develop the Colorado Tourism Roadmap, a statewide strategic plan for Colorado's tourism industry. Anyone with a stake in the future of Colorado tourism, including community leaders and elected officials, is invited to attend and participate in the facilitated discussions.

Click here to read the rest of the press release.

For more info about Colorado Tourism Office or for most up-to-date information and details about the public input sessions, please visit http://industry.colorado.com


In 2014, Colorado set all-time records welcoming 71.3 million visitors to the state who spent $18.6 billion and generated $1.1 billion in tax revenue.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sports Tourism: 'We Are Baseball' tour takes Hall of Fame on road

A new article by Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) is out about the launch of a "We Are Baseball" multi-year tour that will take the Baseball Hall of Fame on the road and visit cities throughout the U.S.
To read the full story click at the official Major League Baseball website, click here:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sports travel is becoming big business in the family travel market

Sports travel is becoming a major component of family travel. Bob Kowalski has just written a story on this topic.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
According to the National Association of Sports Commission's 2015 Report on the Sports Tourism Industry, visitor spending reached nearly $9 billion in 2014, with more than 25.5 million visitors.

"Every city values the dollars left behind by visitors," said Don Schumacher, the executive director of the NASC. "In sport tourism, if this money can be captured without investment in new facilities it will represent a net gain to the local economy."

Click here to read the full story:

Wellness Travel Growing in Popularity

A new article by Anne Dimon (with Travel Market Report) on the growing popularity of "wellness travel" was just published. Anne Dimon is Travel Market Report’s wellness travel contributor and the founder/editor www.traveltowellness.com

Here's the story's opening excerpt:

As the wellness-travel sector continues to grow globally, hotels and resorts are launching new offerings, properties are building fancy new spas or enhance their existing ones, and tour operators are introducing new wellness-themed excursions. What it means for the travel agent is more product to sell, in more destinations and across the gamut of special interests.

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Group Travel is BIG Business - and continues to GROW

Brian Jewel of Group Travel Leader just wrote an excellent article that summarizes how big the group travel business is among U.S. tour operators.

You can view the full article and stats here:

And just to add to the above article with additional info/stats, consider these huge numbers from tour operators that belong to the National Tour Association:

NTA tour operators do $10.5 billion in sales annually while moving 14.9 million travelers. NTA tour operator members specialize in variety of travel markets including leisure, faith-based, student, families, adventure, agritourism, culinary, luxury and much more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Registrations for NTA Travel Exchange 2017 in St. Louis now open!

Come and network with the industry's top tour operators, tour suppliers and destinations at NTA's Travel Exchange in St. Louis (Feb 26-March 2, 2017).

What is the Travel Exchange experience like? Click on any of the video links below.

How can you learn more and register? Visit the official Travel Exchange website:

For more info about the National Tour Association, visit www.NTAonline.com 


Monday, May 16, 2016

Thank You for 100,000 Page Views!!!

Thank you everyone for visiting my "Growth Markets in Tourism" Blog over the past 4 years.

Thanks to you, I'm proud to say we've just past the 100,000 Page View mark!!

Travel Professionals Identify 15 Luxury Travel Trends For 2016 And Beyond

Want to learn about the latest luxury travel trends?

Harvey Chipkin of Travel Market Report just published an article on this topic.

To read the full article, click here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Corporate Adventure-Travel Programs Are A Rewarding Niche-Within-A-Niche (Travel Market Report)

Adventure travel continues to grow in records rates in every aspect of the tourism industry....including within corporate incentive programs.  Here's an article by Chris Ryall (published by Travel Market Report) on this same subject.

The article points out the following "four key elements to include in a corporate incentive program":
  • Exclusive luxury. Go somewhere out of the ordinary so employees feel special. It’s okay to schedule relaxation as part of program. 
  • Escape and disconnect. Be free from noise/distractions/technology. 
  • Confront raw nature. Be challenged in the activities/reconnect with nature. 
  • Be restored by balance. Have a chance to process recent activities and their impact.

Click here to read the full article

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interview: Tauck CEO Says Family Focus Continues for Tour Operators

Great interview with Tauck CEO on the specialty market of "family travel." The interview and article is by Andrew Sheivachman (@sheivach) with Skift.

Click here to read the full article.

Five Trends In Romance Travel (by Travel Market Report)

Is the specialty travel market of "Romance Travel" growing? In one word, YES! Here's an excellent story by Jessica Montevago published by Travel Market Report on five of the top trends in today's Romance Travel Marketplace.

Here's a few key phrases from the article:
  • "A multi-billion dollar industry, romance travel is a niche in bloom this—and indeed every—June."
  • "The number of couples visiting more than one destination has jumped from 35% to 70% as people try to make the most of their vacation time. “We see a growing number of couples pairing resort and city experiences, like Vancouver and Whistler, San Francisco and Hawaii, or Beaver Creek and Denver,” Westin vice president of brand management Bob Jacobs."
  • "An active traveler used to eating healthy and working out at the gym is not going to change habits even on vacation, the Westin survey found. Travelers are 1.5 times more likely to choose a vacation involving the outdoors, and nearly twice as likely to hit the slopes, as in the past. They want that perfect balance between activities and relaxation."
Click here to read the full article on "Five Trends in Romance Travel."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Medical Tourism Poised for Continued Growth

Travel Market Report just published article on Medical Tourism being poised for continued growth as a specialty travel market.

Here is the opening segment of the article:
An April report report titled “World Medical Tourism Market—Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014–2022," projects the world medical tourism market could reach $143.8 billion by 2022.

The study was published by Allied Market Research (AMR).

And the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) agrees that interest in the niche is climbing. CEO Jonathan Edelheit says “the industry has maintained a 15%-plus growth per year, and many of the destinations around the world are reporting increases in medical tourists.” Established in 2007, the Florida-based Medical Tourism Association is made up of 400,000 global members including countries, healthcare clusters, hospitals, facilitators, and insurance companies.

The Top 10 Most Influential Women in Group Travel

The publication Groups Today just came out with their list of Top 10 Most Influential Women in Group Travel. The women on the list represent several key specialty/growth markets within group travel including students/youth, family travel, Chinese travelers, etc.

To read the full article, click here:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Just Published (April 2016): Guidebook featuring Spiritual and Religious Journeys in Québec

Quebec (Canada) is home to several of North America's most prominent shrines. In fact, there is even an organization dedicated to assisting travelers and travel companies in visiting the shrines. Click here to learn more about Quebec's National Shrines.

With above in mind, a new book called "Guide to Spiritual and Religious Journeys in Quebec" has just been published. To learn more about this guidebook, see info below:

Website link:

Guide to Spiritual and Religious Journeys in Québec

Price : $ 24.95
Author : Siham Jamaa
Series : Ulysses Lifestyle
Publisher : Ulysses Travel Guides
Format : Paper (full book)
Theme(s) : Religion
Release date : 15 april 2016
256 pages, including 10 maps; ISBN : 9782894649473

This one-of-a-kind guidebook is an invitation to discover a panoply of spiritual and sacred places in every region of Québec. Its 15 inspirational tours and magnificent photos reveal an exceptionally rich heritage unequalled anywhere else in North America.

The Guide to Spiritual and Religious Journeys in Québec will delight pilgrims whose journeys are prompted by their faith as well as those drawn by art, architecture, and history. The tours offer unique spiritual experiences while exploring countless sacred places: shrines, basilicas, museums, churches, cemeteries, ways of the cross, and temples of a variety of faiths. You’ll also meet remarkable individuals and communities, and enjoy contemplation and reflection while communing with nature.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Webinar: The New Culinary Traveler (hosted by NTA)

The culinary traveler has evolved. Today, there is more opportunity than ever to profit from travelers' interest in food and beverage. Get introduced to the "new foodie traveler" with NTA Strategic Partner and World Food Travel Association Executive Director Erik Wolf during our webinar, May 3, 2 p.m. And to see our Q&A with Eric in the current issue of Courier, click here. Also click here to READ MORE

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

NTA Arts & Culture Product Development Trip

NTA's fall 2016 Arts & Culture PDT will take tour operators who apply for this business-focused trip and are approved by Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureau to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Sept. 13-15. The destination will provide participating operators with an extraordinary opportunity to experience firsthand cultural travel product offerings while taking in the area's history and networking with area suppliers. If you're interested in applying to join the PDT, submit your application as soon as possible. Deadline is May 6, 2016.

For more details:

To view more information about NTA's Product Development Trips, click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Food as a Tourism Marketing Agent (by Peter Tarlow)

Culinary travel and agritourism are 2 hot markets in tourism these days....and will continue to only grow in popularity.

Tourism expert, Peter Tarlow, just wrote an excellent article providing some great insight and ideas for travel professionals who sell group tours, cruises and FIT travel. Here's the article link:


Monday, April 4, 2016

Sports Tourism: Today is Opening Day in Baseball, What are Least and Most Expensive Stadiums to Visit?

As today is the Opening Day of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, what are some of the least and most expensive stadiums to visit for a baseball game trip?

This article by Travel Pulse provides an answer:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The National Tour Association commends the Obama administration for updating the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and Export Administration Regulations that, coupled with the arrangement recently announced by the departments of State and Transportation, allow U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba on an individual basis. Previously, U.S. citizens and residents could travel to Cuba only with organized groups.

"NTA is pleased with this next step toward normalizing relations with Cuba and providing U.S. citizens more freedom to travel," said Pam Inman, NTA president. "I have learned from NTA tour operators, however, that the country's tourism infrastructure is not ready for a steep increase in demand, and arranging travel to and within Cuba as an individual will be challenging."

The new regulations, which took effect March 16, authorize travel that previously required a specific license with case-by-case determination. Travel to Cuba is permitted for activities within 12 categories—each with specific criteria and conditions—including family visits, professional research or meetings, public performances and humanitarian projects. Outside of the 12 categories, the statutory prohibition on travel for tourism remains in place, as does the Cuban embargo.

The new regulations will expand Cuban nationals' access to U.S. financial institutions, and they authorize hiring and paying salaries to Cuban nationals in the U.S. consistent with appropriate visa terms. Regulations also expand the ability for individuals to purchase Cuba-origin merchandise.

For more information about authorized travel to Cuba, see the FAQ created by the U.S. Department of Treasury: 1.usa.gov/1NddEro.

Order the 2014-15 China U.S. Travel Monitor Program Report

China U.S. Travel Monitor Program

NTA is proud to release the 2014-15 China U.S. Travel 
Monitor Program Report!
Order Here
Chinese outbound travel has been the buzzword in the world's travel and tourism industry. China is not only one of the world's fastest growing source markets, but now the largest source market in terms of both visitation amount and travel spending. For the U.S., China now ranks sixth in terms of arrivals, but second in terms of spending, making it one of the most sought-after source markets for all American destinations and service providers. To fully take advantage of this highly lucrative yet constantly changing market, it is crucial for American tourism organizations and businesses to regularly monitor how Chinese tourists view the United States as a long-haul travel destination, and for those who have visited America, how they consume American travel products and whether they are satisfied with their experiences.
NTA is honored to join forces with Temple University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and a group of American destinations and companies, in continuous support of the China U.S. Travel Monitor Program. The Monitor program is an annual, ongoing research program targeting Chinese travel to the U.S. The purpose of this program is to help the American travel industry track the growth and trends of the fast-growing Chinese outbound travel market, and identify key issues in Chinese tourists' travel experiences in the U.S. The Monitor Program is led by Temple University's Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li, widely considered a world-leading expert on Chinese outbound tourism, and editor of the 2016 book "Chinese Outbound Tourism 2.0." The 2016-17 phase of the Monitor Program is expected to launch in spring 2016. 
This report is based on findings from the 2014-15 study of the Monitor Program. It represents the culmination of a 15-month, two-phase study designed to better understand the Chinese outbound travel market and its rich source of potential new leisure visitors for the U.S.
• The first phase of the project involved phone surveys of 1,300 citizens in five Chinese cities to develop a better understanding of urban Chinese citizens' general attitude toward and incidence rates of travel to the U.S.
• The second phase of the project is a "gap analysis" among 500 recent visitors to the U.S. before and after their trip to the U.S., aiming to develop a better understanding of what Chinese travelers expect for their U.S. trip, and whether they are satisfied with their experience after the trip.

Friday, March 18, 2016

NTA is proud to release the 2014-15 China U.S. Travel Monitor Program Report

NTA is proud to release the 2014-15 China U.S. Travel Monitor Program Report. We're also proud to say that as an NTA member, you'll receive a $150 discount when you order the report.

For the U.S., China now ranks second in terms of spending, making it one of the most sought-after source markets for all American destinations and service providers. To fully take advantage of this highly lucrative yet constantly changing market, it's crucial for American tourism organizations and businesses to monitor how Chinese tourists view the U.S. as a destination and how they consume American travel products.

Support this important report and put your business in front of its readers by sponsoring in the 2016-17 report. You can contact Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li at + for more information about the report and to discuss available sponsorships.

Contact NTA if you need any assistance ordering the report.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

NTA Event Calendar: U.S.-China Tourism Year 2016

The kickoff event for the U.S.-China Tourism Year 2016 was held Feb. 29 in Beijing. NTA President Pam Inman attended with industry leaders and government officials, along with hundreds of travel trade professionals from each country. The program will bring synergy for bilateral collaboration that will result in economic prosperity. NTA is playing an active role to celebrate the year and support members' business growth. We encourage you to refer to the calendar below and take part in the events.

NTA Event Calendar: U.S.-China Tourism Year 2016
March 7-13
  • NTA buyer delegation to Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, China
April 12-14
  • NTA exhibits at COTTM (China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market) in Beijing to promote NTA's China Inbound Program and approved tour operators.
April 27-May 2           
  • NTA China Inbound Program operator Fam tour in Utah, sponsored by Utah Office of Tourism (registration closed).
May 12-17
  • NTA China Inbound Program operator Fam tour in South Dakota, sponsored by SD Tourism Office (registration closed).
May 26
  • NTA China Inbound Program operators networking event in Los Angeles. Details to be announced closer to the event.
May 27-30
  • NTA China Inbound Program operator Fam tour in California, sponsored by Visit California. Details to be announced closed to the event.
  • NTA's Courier magazine features tourism product of Zhangjiajie, China. Submit an entry to the edit team for consideration.
  • Release of Chinese brochure for NTA annual conference, Contact '16, held in Québec City (to be distributed in U.S., Canada and China).
  • NTA's Courier magazine features story on NTA China Inbound Program.
Aug. 25-27
  • The fifth China Market Forum at Contact featuring three seminars
  • NTA China Inbound Program operator Fam tour to an Eastern state. Details to be announced closer to the event.
Sept. 20-29
  • NTA buyer delegation to Sichuan province, China
  • NTA annual publication, The Best of the USA, releases for distribution to 3,200 Chinese outbound travel agencies. This is an NTA China Inbound Program operator directory.
  • NTA's Courier magazine features a China destination.
  • NTA Board mission to China
  • NTA exhibits at CITM (China International Travel Mart) in Shanghai
  • NTA's Courier magazine features a collection of write-ups on tourism product of Sichuan, China. Submit an entry to the edit team for consideration.
  • Release of the Chinese brochure for Travel Exchange '17 in St. Louis 
  • NTA's Courier magazine features coverage of CITM/NTA Board mission to China and tourism products of Sichuan, China. Submit an entry to the edit team for consideration.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

U.S.-China Tourism Year kicks off in Beijing

Click here to view original article.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that 2016 is the U.S.-China Tourism Year, which celebrates the recent reciprocal extension of visa validity and supports increased travel exports. The two countries will work toward expanding and shaping U.S.-China tourism, and strengthening the bond between the two peoples.

NTA President Pam Inman attended the opening ceremony in BeijingMonday. Along with Brand USA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration, NTA is pleased to officially launch the year-long initiative.

"We congratulate Brand USA, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the China National Tourism Administration for the launch of the U.S.-China Tourism Year," Inman said. "It was an amazing event, and NTA was proud to be part of it."

Among the guests were CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao, U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China Max Baucus, Deputy Sec. of Commerce Bruce Andrews, and Chris Thompson, Brand USA. President Obama gave a video message supporting the launch and the tourism exchange between the two countries. Dr. Leroy Chiao, the American Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, was the master of ceremonies. Entertainment was provided by The Midtown Men (the original cast of Jersey Boys). Chef Tim Byres of The Theodore in Dallas prepared a taste of the United States for the delicious meal.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

National Tour Association Commends Restored Air Service to Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 18, 2016) —The National Tour Association commends the U.S. Department of Transportation for its signing of an arrangement with Cuba to formally restore air service between the countries, an important step forward for U.S. and Cuba relations that will greatly benefit Americans and Cubans alike.

NTA has been a leading voice during ongoing attempts to restore normal travel operations with Cuba and is proud to have stood firm in supporting the freedom to travel. Tuesday’s announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to provide for the re-establishment of scheduled air services between the United States and Cuba is a considerable accomplishment for citizens and stakeholders from both countries.

Immediately following the signing, DOT invited U.S. air carriers to apply for an allocation of the new opportunities to provide scheduled passenger and cargo flights. The agreement allows for up to 20 roundtrip flights between the United States and Havana, and 10 roundtrip flights at each of Cuba’s other airports, for a total of 110 daily roundtrip flights between the countries.

Tuesday’s actions coincide with the decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to initiate a rule change regarding flights to and from Cuba. CBP will seek to repeal Cuba-related regulations that have been deemed redundant with current regulations. Once the regulations are repealed, flights to and from Cuba would be subject to the same legal requirements as other international flights.

NTA has consistently stated that normalized relations with Cuba would benefit the U.S economy and be a boon for the travel and tourism sector. Increased economic activity between the United States and Cuba will have a significantly positive impact on U.S. travel and tourism, the nation’s largest service export. According to data from the Department of Commerce, the industry generates upwards of $2.1 trillion in economic output, supports 14.9 million jobs and represents $134 million in tax revenue. On average, travelers to the U.S. spend $2.4 billion a day, $101.4 million an hour, $1.7 million a minute and $28,154 a second.

Tuesday’s order invites applications from U.S. carriers and initiates a formal proceeding for DOT to select which U.S. carriers will be able to offer scheduled flights to Cuba—and from which U.S. points. Applications to offer service to Cuba are due to DOT on March 2, 2016.

NTA is pleased with the progress that has been made in the advancement of normalized relations with Cuba and is optimistic about the positive benefits that will follow for the U.S. travel and tourism sector. Founded in 1951, NTA is now the leading association for packaged travel professionals (representing more than 40 countries) interested in the North American market—to, from and within.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Inside the Meteoric Rise of Chinese Inbound Tourism (by David Cogswell)

Outstanding article by David Cogswell (Travel Pulse) on the burgeoning market of Chinese travelers visiting the USA.

Opening paragraph:
The National Tour Association’s recent promotion of Haybina Hao to vice president of international development is a reflection of the fact that Hao is one of the most valuable members of the NTA staff now. That is due in large part to her overseeing the China market, a tourism market with growth potential that can’t be compared with that of any other source market.

Read the full article by clicking here:
http://www.travelpulse.com/news/tour-operators/inside-the-meteoric-rise-of-chinese-inbound- tourism.html